Used 2003 Saab 9-3 Consumer Reviews - 378 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Saab 9-3 - Consumer Reviews

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378 Total Reviews

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2003 Saab 9-3 Linear 2.0T
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Jaime Perez
on

Vehicle

2003 Saab 9-3 Linear 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

Great car! This car is bulletproof if properly maintained. I stayed on top of maintance and the car never let me down. At 230,000 miles I drove the car cross country coast to coast all the time without any fear of breakdowns. I even cruised at triple digits out in the desert with no problems. Engine still strong at that mileage. Frequent oil changes highly recommended to prevent sludge in these engines and to prevent turbo failure. Car still has original transmission at 230,000 miles. The car feels very light and corners like a sports car. These Saabs do have electrical problems but the only ones I encountered were passengers door lock stopped working and the high beam shutter in the Xenon headlights stopped working so no more high beams. I would definitely recommend getting the daytime running lights disabled at a shop that specializes in Saabs because they come from the factory with the daytime running lights which leave the headlights on all the time whenever the car is on. If your car is equipped with Bi Xenon headlights like mine was you don't want them on whenever the car is on because the bulbs are expensive and if the high beam shutter stops working like it did in mine then you're looking at $750 a headlight for replacement. Also check the Coil Springs on all four corners because they tend to rust due to poor coating from the factory which can lead them to breaking which is not good if it happens while driving. The car gave me an impressive 39mpg on the highway during summer days and 34mpg during winter on the highway. The car gave me 24 mpg in the city. The car has more than enough power for everyday day driving. The car is amazing in the snow and it's a great cold weather car. Never got stuck in snow and drove it in multiple snowstorms where there was so much snow that only rigs and trucks were on the roads. The car also survived every day cold starts in -20 degree weather never failing to start. I will definitely be buying another Saab in the future. Great European cars. Stay on top of maintance and you will get a car that is reliable, sporty, good looking, good on gas, great driver in any weather, turbo power, handles, great cargo space, room for 5 people, luxury features for the year of the car! There's a reason why there's so many of these on the roads especially in the northeast!!


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still on the road
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By chemaespi
on

Vehicle

2003 Saab 9-3 Linear 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

i have a 03 9-3 bough it a year ago a few things i have fixed ignition coils and spark plugs,brakes and rotors,radio and speakers all after market with custom dash to install my tablet, oil change with a bottle of lucas, oil coolant hose had a big bubble replaced before it blew, sway bar links bushings and control arms,disabled alarm was very annoying going off random hours of day and night removed the on star and antenna replaced with a bmw type of antenna to cover it no engine problems at the moment next up are from shocks because they are worn and causing vibration at high speed got this car very cheap for $1000 so for me was worth fixing it when the car still runs great why buy another ? dont replace what is not broken.

always use 93 gas grade


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Why the bad Reputation?
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By aemadian
on

Vehicle

2003 Saab 9-3 Arc 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)


Review

This car is fun to drive and has a great powerful engine. You always have the confidence to take on any car on the road and get ahead fast. Great MPG too even-though it is a turbo car. I have never had any engine and transmission problems with my car. I have only changed the oil when service warning comes on. Handling is great too, almost like a BMW but front wheel drive characteristics. Radio went bad once because a really smart person jumped the battery and fried the amp. You take care of it, it takes care of you. It's just false word of mouth that gave this car bad rep.


Best Features

Turbo engine has a lot of power and torque.


Worst Features

For none AERO models, suspension is way too tight and harsh for everyday driving.


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Honest Review
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By leviphx
on

Vehicle

2003 Saab 9-3 Arc 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)


Review

I bought this car used with 63k miles on it and haven't regretted it a day since.
Knowing the history of these cars however, I made sure I had an independent mechanic familiar with the brand take a look at it before I made an offer (easily worth the $150 dollars). I don't want to put anyone down, but I believe that at least half of the poor reviews this car gets are due to A) Poor maintenance by/no knowledge of previous ownership, or B) Poor maintenance by current owner. Love this car and it will love you back, simple as that.
And don't buy a performance (or any other) car without a thorough inspection.
Tho people I suppose have been burned by a bad car regardless of their caution I guess


Best Features

Solid design, intimacy of manual transmission and road feel, style, options (a 2003 with rain sensing wipers, backup assistance, automatic climate control, onstar and more??), wheels (17" 5 spoke), overall driveability.


Worst Features

Paint chips off the seek and blower fan buttons on the dash, seems like a common problem. Really can't complain about anything else and that should tell you something.


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first sight fell in love, still loving strong
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By whasaab
on

Vehicle

2003 Saab 9-3 Vector 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)


Review

At first, I was very hesitant about buying this car because I read many unsatisfying reviews on Saab.
However, bought 2003 9-3 vector in Feb 2013 under 6k, looked new inside and out, one owner and no accident.
Checked with Saab if the car had any mechanical service done.
All the recalls had been taken care of and no other mechanical issues.
After 8 months putting over 10k still feels like a new car.
But make sure you use premium gas and full synthetic oil.
Not using premium grade gas will give you check engine light.
But don't panic, it will go away if you put premium.

My $6k saab looks better and runs better than brand new camrys or accords .. love this car.


Best Features

6 speeds manual with 210 hp. Great mileage. Average of 30-31(mixed). Interior and exterior design of the car. seat comfort. Night driving mode. It's lighter than Nissan Altima but feels sturdy when driving.


Worst Features

Headlight is too dim.


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